Friday, March 30, 2012

Photo Friday - Wedding Decorations

On Wednesday, I gave a peek at one of our wedding photos.  If you were really intrigued, hopefully you went to Katelyn Jame's blog and voted for us!  If you didn't, what are you waiting for?  Her annual Love Shots Contest is in full swing and there is a photo canvas on the line people!  And we don't have a single wedding photo printed or hung anywhere in our townhouse yet.  Yes, we have been married for almost 9 months.  All of our family members have photo books and framed pictures, and we have nothing.  (Clearly you can see where my priorities were around Christmas time.) SO I WOULD REALLY LOVE TO WIN THAT CANVAS!  Pardon me.  I can be a little competitive sometimes...... (oh and in case you haven't realized it yet, Katelyn James was our amazing wedding photographer!  We love her like family...oh that's right.  She is!!)

Anyway.......this Photo Friday, I thought I would share with you some of our fabulous wedding photos.  Because it has been a long week and our wedding decorations and theme still make me giddy, I am going to start with those.  Doesn't pink and black and white damask make everyone happy?  Remind me at some point to tell you the story of cutting our wedding cake.  It deserves its own post.

So Happy Friday!  And Happy Weekend!  Hopefully these pink and black and white damask photos help start your weekend off right!  Enjoy!  (And yes I really love exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!!)

PS- If you want to peak ahead to future wedding photos, you can check out my Pinterest Board The Best Day of My Life

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Katelyn James Photography Love Shots Contest

I was going to wait until Photo Friday to talk about and post some of our wedding pictures, but I guess I will give you a sneak peak.  And then ask you to go vote!!!  Katelyn James  was our fabulous wedding photographer and Britt's second cousin (or cousin squared).  It is amazing to have someone as talented as she is as family.  Every year Katelyn has a Love Photo contest.  Because our wedding was within the last year, we are in the contest!!

Here is a peak at one of our wedding photos, with more to come on Friday!

Now that I have peaked your interest....Go vote for Katie and Britt here!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Puppy Parent Fails

This week's Listable Life is about parent failures.  We don't have actual kids, but we do have our four-legged furry friend who is like our child.  Well, my child.  My husband still occasionally tries to argue that he IS in fact, a dog.  My response is usually something along the lines of "But he's my baby!"  I mean really?  Look at that face.

It's a face only a mother could love. (Oh come on who are you kidding.  You know you love that face as much as I do.  How could you not.)  We may not have a child, but we are definitely parents.  And this was hands down the best way to ease into parenthood.  I highly recommend getting a puppy first.  This lil pup has taught me a lot.  But I have definitely had some some puppy parent fails.  And here are 5 of them.

1).  Buoy sleeps in our bed.

Our trainer would call this an EPIC fail.  According to her, it means Buoy thinks of us as siblings or den mates rather than parents or authority figures.  And we definitely have our moments when we struggle to re-gain the upper hand, but I wouldn't trade him sleeping in our bed for anything.  I even give up my leg room most nights, just to make him happy.  And room on my pillows other nights.

2).  I give in to his demands when we are traveling on an airplane.

I know, I know. I should stand my ground and be firm when he starts to paw, scratch and whine to get out of his travel condo (aka cage) under the seat in front of me.  And I do for awhile.  But then he lets out a bark and I freak out about the people around me and let him poke his head out.  Thank goodness all of the flight attendants and people around us have been dog lovers.  (In his defense, it was REALLY hot down there the last two times we've flown).  And then I spend the rest of the flight hunched over making sure he stays calm and comfortable.  And giving him ice cubes.  They make him happy.  Yes, my dog is weird.  When he was a little puppy, air travel didn't phase him.  He slept the whole time and didn't make a peep.  Apparently I got spoiled.  Now that he is older and has an opinion about things, oh boy does he let me know when he is NOT happy.  And I completely cave.  Fail.

3).  I introduced him to plastic bottles.

I always carry AT LEAST one raw hide bone in my purse.  Sometimes two or three (other dogs I have learned get jealous and want their own).  Along with a toy or two.  Yes, I carry a purse the size of a diaper bag so that all of my dogs needs are met.  Raw hide bones are the only thing that can withstand his puppy teeth for more than a nano second.  So we always have a large supply on hand.  Until one day, we were out and about with Buoy, and I didn't have any raw hides in my purse.  Fail!  So I used an empty plastic water bottle as a substitute.  And it worked really well.  Until the wrapper was shred into pieces everywhere and chunks of the plastic bottle were scattered.  Huge mess.  And now, of course, Buoy LOVES plastic bottles.  Can't get enough of them.  Tries to steal them when they are still full of liquid.  Yup.  I'd call this one a fail.  But they work in a pinch!

(At this point I have to apologize for the quality of most of the photos in this post.  Quick cell phone snap shots.  And this one was the worst.  It was the closet thing I could get to a not-blurry action shot. Fail!)

4).  Buoy hates my father-in-law.

But he loves my dad.  And he loves my mother-in-law. And pretty much everyone else in the world, except my father-in-law.  I don't know why, I don't know how.  I've tried to understand, but I just don't.  One day not too long after we got Buoy, he went from loving my father-in-law to hating him.  And proves it by marking his territory whenever we are at his house.  It is the ONLY time Buoy has accidents inside.  I have tried to train this out of him.  I've tried forcing Buoy to spend time with him to learn to like him.  Hours on end.  But nothing has worked.  And for that, I am a puppy parent failure.  And I feel horrible anytime we are at my in-laws.  Because even when I watch Buoy every second while we are there, he finds a way to say "I really don't like you."  

I'm really glad my father-in-law is a good sport.

And yes, this is a picture of Buoy sitting as far away from him as possible, while still being comfortable on the couch.  Even Buoy has his limits of hatred vs comfort.

5).  I leave him 5 days a week.

I know that this happens to lots of dogs.  But nothing makes me feel more like a puppy parent failure than going to work.  I HATE leaving him all alone for hours and hours.  I hate the look on his face as I walk out the door.  I love finding him on the landing of the stairs, staring at the door, just waiting for me to come home.  But I hate it.  Because I know he loves me just as much as I love him.  And he hates it when I leave, just as much as I hate leaving him.  It is the best part of both of our days when I get to come home and see him.  And then the next morning rolls around and I have to leave again.  Fail.

I am guessing this all really good practice for me.  (Although, if I have separation issues with my dog, someone please help my children!)  Our white fluff ball, who loves unconditionally, is teaching me a whole lot about being a parent.  We have our ups and downs, our successes and our failures.  And I wouldn't trade a minute of it for anything.  I love my little Buoy with all my heart and am so grateful I get to be his mom.  Failures and all.  And together, the three of us are a happy little family.

Monday, March 26, 2012

House Hunting Headaches

Over the weekend we went and looked at houses. Again.  And townhouses.  This has been going on for a few months now.  A quick back story about our house hunting so far:  The very first house we looked at was a first time home buyers dream.  Not a single thing needed to be done to it.  We even liked the paint colors.  But we got into a bidding war and backed down.  It was the first time we had put an offer on a house and we were too nervous to stretch our budget.

So the search continued.  We then found a short sale that we thought was going to be a good investment.  Great location for the hubby to get to work (and he could let the dog out at lunch = HUGE plus), not so great for me.  But that was ok because the house was huge and had a pond in the backyard.  It was going to need some updating over time, but totally liveable.  So we sat back and have been waiting. And waiting. And waiting.  Gotta love a short sale.  I had accepted moving out of our current area (which I really like) and was even looking forward to it.  It made sense.  We can get way more for our money down by where my husband works.  Our current area is well, pricey.

Then, we had a game changing decision made.  The hubs job was going to be changing a bit and he was going to be working out of a new office.  By where we are currently living.  Argh!  "Really Reynolds?  After all we have been through?" (ha ha you are now seeing where the name of the blog really came from)  As much as we like this house and see the investment potential, it just doesn't make sense for us both to have a long commute.  Especially when we like the area.  So we are back to square one.  And we have expanded our search to include townhouses.  In theory, we can get a nicer space in a townhouse.  But man even some of the townhouses around here are out of our budget!

House hunting is turning into a huge headache!  What do you do when what you want looks like this:

Exterior Photos traditional exterior
And this:

Candlelight Homes - Custom Home - Draper, UT traditional family room

Lakeview Residence Bedroom traditional bedroom
traditional bedroom design by chicago architect Rugo/ Raff Ltd. Architects
Source: via Katie on Pinterest

But what you can afford looks like this:

Ok so maybe I am exaggerating a little bit.  But it kinda feels this way after looking this weekend.  Finding a big enough space for us, with a basement, and a 2 car garage, in a good area that isn't totally hideous or really really old is a lot harder than we thought.  I think I'm feeling that headache coming back......

Any advice for first time home buyers?  Or at least a headache remedy?  How did you find your first place?